John Abbott Nez / Commission
Commissioner: John Nez Illustration
Date of publication / release: 11.02.2012

I had it in mind to create a new sample artwork illustration, but what to draw?  Elephants are always a good place to begin. So I decided to do a retro-1950's digital version of a zoo scene.

The pencil sketch was refined after about 5 major theme revisions.  Earlier versions had kids on a pirate ship, kids flying around over the zoo.  I found it interesting that I rejected some of the more imaginative ideas in favor of something closer to traditional.

Once I chose the theme, it only took a morning to assemble the elements and sketch it out on regular copy paper with a pencil.  Then the scanning and digital rebuilding begins.  I filled in the color and made about a million changes to balance the colors.

I added a filter that I think worked very well, once again this was after trying half a dozen other filters.

Finally I decided after looking at it overnight that the background on the right was wrong.  So I recovered the original sketch I'd done about 7 years ago and worked that in.  It was perfect.  I added the colors and then put in some new patches of fence... and it was done. 

I think my favorite discovery with this piece was adding the sky and clouds. I used an older clouds file from another painting. That's one reason I love photoshop so much... you don't have to reinvent the wheel every day.


Attached images:
Kindergarten Art Class
The Picnic
High Five Magazine cover
Monster Fun
going green & solar energy
Street Scene
Fire Safety Day in the Classroom
Spot Saves the Day
Chickens in the Farmyard
Bird Watching
The Emperor's Nightingale